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LSP Ensures Equitable Library Access as Distancing Continues

April 23, 2020

Accessing digital library using laptopThe January launch of a statewide Library Services Platform (LSP) proved timely, as it positioned 110 participating California community college libraries to immediately adapt to remote work and learning practices amid the coronavirus outbreak and a stay-home order in place throughout the state.

While California college campuses are closed indefinitely to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the cloud-based LSP, based on ExLibris Alma/Primo system, has allowed college library staff, faculty and student workers to continue their day-to-day operations in a secure, online environment, while ensuring students have uninterrupted access to library resources.

“Going live with Alma in January has been just about the best thing that could have happened in the face of COVID-19,” said Pawel A. Szponar, Library Coordinator and Systems Administrator at Foothill College. “The ease of use and endless scalability of the system allows our library to meet the evolving needs of our students in these difficult times and offer things that were simply not possible before [as well as] launch new initiatives and keep everyone at the library busy and seamlessly working on improving the library operations from home without skipping a beat.”

“Beyond the new and enhanced services the LSP has enabled, it is the collective might of all of the CCCs working together so that no college has to duplicate the work that has already been accomplished by another college, ensuring that the unique population we serve has high quality services even when the physical libraries are closed,” added Jeffrey Sabol, Librarian at Long Beach City College.

Centralized Platform Supports Student Success

The statewide LSP project exemplifies the benefits and value of adopting a systemwide approach and solution for operational and programmatic needs shared throughout the system. Furthering the California Community Colleges Vision for Success, the cloud-based unified resource management system positions all CCC libraries to provide the fullest range of information resources to support instruction across all disciplines, programs, and modalities of instruction.

Library faculty and staff are able to work collaboratively across the community college system to develop instructional tools, best practices, training materials and uniform policies and procedures. And students and faculty studying and teaching at multiple colleges use the same research and information tools no matter where they are. This creates an equitable playing field by allowing students at our smallest colleges to utilize the same state-of-the-art software to access resources as students at our largest colleges.

“This project is more than the wires and the software,” said Doug Achterman, Head Librarian at Gavilan College. “It includes an infrastructure that supports connected library work in support of a common goal: student success.”

For more information about the status of the LSP project, read this April 6 statement from the Council of Chief Librarians California Community Colleges (CCL), or visit the CCL website at CCLibrarians.org.